Turkish giants Fenerbahce will expect to reach the group stages of the 2017/18 Europa League and have already taken a big step to achieve their aim. The Turkish club won the first leg of their tie with Sturm Graz 2-1 in Austria and must be considered favourites to progress to the playoff round.
Last season, Fenerbahce reached the Round of 32 in the Europa League only to lose 2-1 on aggregate in a close tie with Krasnodar. During the campaign, they defeated Manchester United at home, which was a great result.
Since 2009/10 Sturm Graz have qualified for the group stages of the Europa League twice, the most recent being 2011/12. They finished bottom of their group and despite two attempts since, have not been able to qualify again for the group stages.
Having fallen behind early in the first leg of this tie, Fenerbahce came back into the match well and went on to claim a 2-1 win.
This was their first game of competitive football this season and Aykut Kocaman will be pleased with the effort of his players. A similar performance in this match will see them qualify for the playoff stages.
Fenerbahce’s home Europa League record is very good and they are undefeated in their previous 9 matches at the Ulker Stadium. There have been 7 wins and 2 draws during this period of games and Fenerbahce have kept 6 clean sheets.
Sturm Graz Form
Sturm Graz currently sit top of the Austrian Bundesliga table with maximum points from their 2 games played.
They recovered well from the 2-1 defeat in the first leg of this tie to win away at Austria Vienna on the weekend.
However, Sturm Graz away form in the Europa League does not make for pleasant reading. They won their away leg in the previous round at Mladost of Montenegro 3-0 but have struggled against teams with a bit of quality.
There have been defeats at Anderlecht and Lokomotiv Moscow plus draws at Breidablik and Rubin Kazan in their recent away games.
Fenerbahce must make do with defensive duo Simon Kjaer and Yigithan Guveli who are both injured. With strikers Fernandao and Robin van Persie also injured, Kocaman has some thinking to do in terms of team selection.
However, Sturm Graz are looking worse for wear themselves with several players set to miss the game through injury. Defenders Christian Schoissengeyr, Lukas Spendlhofer, Christian Schulz, and Charalampos Lykogiannis plus midfielders Oliver Filip, Marc Andre Schmerbock, Martin Ovenstad, and James Jeggo are out.
Top Betting Tips
It’s difficult to see any other winner than Fenerbahce emerging from this match. They are very good at home and should have enough to defeat Sturm Graz. Fenerbahce are 4/9 with William Hill to win the game.
Defensively Fenerbahce have been excellent at home in recent home Europa League matches and will be aiming to keep another clean sheet in this game. Fenerbahce are 7/5 with Ladbrokes to win this game to nil.
With Fenerbahce expected to win the match with ease you can get them to be ahead at half-time and full-time at 5/4 with Ladbrokes.